Lighting up cells with genetically-encoded X-ray-sensitive probes

May 18, 2020

Microscopic visualization of sub-cellular structures and constituents plays a central role in cell biology. Synchrotron-based X-ray microscopy (XRM) provides a unique approach for direct imaging a whole cell with intrinsic nanoscale resolution. However, existing approaches to label biomolecules rely on the use of exogeneous tags that are multi-step and error-prone (e. g. antibody-based detection). Recently, Chunhai Fan from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Ying Zhu, Jun Hu and Lihua Wang from the Shanghai Synchrotron Lightsource developed genetically-encoded tags for XRM imaging, which allows nanoscale localization of proteins in cells.

They repurposed peroxidases as genetically-encoded X-ray-sensitive tags for site-specific labeling of protein-of-interest in mammalian cells. They find that polymers that are in-situ catalytically formed by fusion-expressed peroxidases are visible under XRM (Fig. a). The major consequences of using this new tag can be categorized in three aspects: 1) The genetically encoded X-ray tags allow endogenous labeling of diverse molecules and subcellular structures for XRM imaging with an ultrahigh spatial resolution of ~30 nm (Fig. b). 2) The high photostability of X-ray tags enables long-term observation of intracellular and intercellular events. Especially, they visualize the changes of intercellular connections among tumor cells dependent on DNA methylation with XRM. 3) The high energy resolution of XRM provides a direct means to realize multi-colour imaging of cellular structures. This work enlightens the way to nanoscopic imaging for biological studies.
-end-
This work was supported by the 10ID-1 Soft X-ray Spectromicroscopy beamline of the Canadian Light Source (CLS), the 10A Soft X-ray Nanoscopy beamline of the Pohang Light Source (PLS) II and the BL08U1-A Soft X-ray Spectromicroscopy beamline of the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF).

Genetically encoded X-ray cellular imaging for nanoscale protein localization
Huating Kong, Jichao Zhang, Jiang Li, Jian Wang, Hyun-Joon Shin,
Renzhong Tai, Qinglong Yan, Kai Xia, Jun Hu, Lihua Wang, Ying Zhu, Chunhai Fan
https://doi.org/10.1093/nsr/nwaa055

Science China Press

Related Mammalian Cells Articles from Brightsurf:

Largest set of mammalian genomes reveals species at risk of extinction
An international team of researchers with the Zoonomia Project has released the whole genomes of more than 80 percent of all mammalian families, spanning almost 110 million years of evolution.

Mammalian lipid droplets organize and support innate host immunity
Mammalian lipid droplets -- tiny lipid-filled pockets floating amidst a cell's cytoplasm -- represent an intracellular first line of defense against microbial pathogens, researchers report.

New insight into mammalian stem cell evolution
The genes regulating pluripotent stem cells in mammals are surprisingly similar across 48 species, Kyoto University researchers report in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution.

The evolutionary puzzle of the mammalian ear
How could the tiny parts of the ear adapt independently to the diverse functional and environmental regimes encountered in mammals?

Novel sperm membrane protein FIMP facilitates mammalian fertilization
Researchers from Osaka University have identified a new sperm membrane protein that facilitates the complex sperm-oocyte fusion that is fundamental to sexual reproduction, naming it Fertilization Influencing Membrane Protein (FIMP).

New platform for composing genetic programs in mammalian cells
A new ensemble of parts for mammalian synthetic biology will enable the design and construction of genetic programs not previously possible.

How and when spines changed in mammalian evolution
Researchers compared modern and ancient animals to explore how mammalian vertebrae have evolved into sophisticated physical structures that can carry out multiple functions.

Not so selfish after all--Key role of transposable elements in mammalian evolution
A scientist at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) has revealed a key role for 'selfish' transposable elements in the evolution of the mammary gland, a defining feature of all mammals.

Why myelinated mammalian nerves are fast and allow high frequency
Researchers have achieved patch-clamp studies of an elusive part of mammalian myelinated nerves called the Nodes of Ranvier.

CNIO researchers find a method to select for mammalian cells with half the number of chromosomes
Since the emergence of molecular genetics, scientists have tried to isolate haploid mammalian cells.

Read More: Mammalian Cells News and Mammalian Cells Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.